NBA All-Star Voting Process
Every year, fans, players, and media members eagerly anticipate the NBA All-Star Game, an exhibition game in which 24 specially-selected players from across the league, the NBA All-Stars, face off against each other in two teams of 12. Since the All-Star Game features the players who are generally considered to be the best in the league, it is not surprising that players are selected by fans and their fellow players, as well as media analysts. Read on to learn all about the complex voting process for the NBA All-Star Game.
NBA ID All-Star Voting
Beginning in 2023, the NBA adopted a new system of voting for the NBA All-Star Game, consisting of new additions to the fan voting process, which makes up 50 percent of the ultimate vote for the All-Star starters. In order to participate in voting for the NBA All-Star Game, fans can sign up for an “NBA ID,” either on the league's website or the NBA App. This free NBA ID not only gives fans the ability to vote for the All-Star Game, but it provides a chance to win tickets to the game itself or to unlock certain perks if they are already going, such as upgraded seats and other rewards.
All-Star Voting Period
Voting for the NBA All-Star Game takes place over a four-week period, in which fans with an NBA ID can submit one full ballot each day. A voting ballot consists of five slots for each conference, three for frontcourt players and two for guards, which fans can fill with any active player from each of the two NBA Conferences. Over the course of the four weeks, there are special days in which fans’ ballots can count three times, also known as “3-for-1 Days.” Designated 3-for-1 Days for the 2023 All-Star Game included December 25, 2022 and January 1, 6, 13, 16, and 20 of 2023.
Player and Media Ballots
While fans make up half of the voting for the NBA All-Star Game starters, ballots cast by players and media personalities account for 25 percent each, making up the other half of the voting pool. Unlike fans, who can submit daily ballots through the four-week voting period, players and media members are each allowed a single ballot.
Once the voting process is complete and the four-week period ends, the NBA tallies all of the votes submitted by fans, players, and the media. Upon tallying the votes, the NBA ranks players by conference and position (frontcourt or guard) within each voting group of fans, players, and media. Each player receives a score which consists of the average of his three weighted rankings, and the three frontcourt players and two guards with the highest scores in each conference are named NBA All-Star starters. If there is a tie between two players in the top 12, fan voting determines the ultimate winner.
Once the 10 starting players are selected, the players from each conference with the highest scores are named the captains of the two All-Star Game teams. After the reserve players are announced, the captains go through a drafting process in which they alternate picks and select from the 22 remaining players to form their teams, until each team has 12 players. Unlike previous years, in 2023, the roster draft will occur directly before the game begins.
Reserve Player Selection
In addition to the starting players selected via the voting process, each conference roster has an additional seven reserve spots. These players are selected by the head coaches of each conference, who each vote for two guards, three frontcourt players, and two players of any position in their conferences.
Sometimes, players who are selected to the All-Star Game, either as a starter or a reserve, cannot play due to injury or some other impediment. In the event of a player being unable to participate in the All-Star Game, the NBA Commissioner will select a replacement player from the same conference as the player who cannot participate. That player will then join the team of whichever captain drafted the player whom they replaced.
How much are fan votes worth for the NBA All-Star Game?
Fan votes make up 50 percent of the voting pool for the NBA All-Star Game. Previously, fans made up the entirety of the voting pool for the game, but since 2017, players and media members were also given the ability to vote, each group accounting for 25 percent of the vote, while fans were reduced to 50 percent. The current voting process ranks each player via a weighted average of their votes from each group.
How did NBA All-Star voting work previously?
Prior to the 2017 season, the NBA utilized a purely fan-based vote in order to select the players for the All-Star Game. This process had existed since the 1974-1975 season, which replaced the previous requirement that each All-Star Game have a representative player from every team in the league.
When are the teams for the NBA All-Star Game created?
For the 2023 NBA All-Star Game, unlike in previous years, the two All-Star Game teams will be created directly prior to the game. Previously, the draft for the All-Star Game occurred before All-Star Weekend began. 2023 is the first year in which the draft will occur directly prior to the game.